Are you missing invitations to be loved? And could you be offering more to others than you currently do?
I was profoundly impacted by a woman I met this month. Ginny is an extraordinary woman, with a tremendous capacity to offer love to others.
Equally important, she remembers the importance of embracing her own health - as challenged as her life has been.
I haven't stopped thinking about one of the stories she shared with me. I hope it will resonate as profoundly with you.
Ginny awoke with the strong feeling to call a friend living far away. Without delay, she called. Ginny listened as her friend talked about recently losing her mother, and was about to embark on travels to transport the ashes to a final resting place.
I asked Ginny how she responded. Her words always will stay with me, as one of the most important sentiments I have ever heard.
She said to her friend, "Please come let me love you." Ginny invited her to come stay during her trip, in the home she made with her husband.
As I listened, tears came to my eyes and my voice was silent. I was in awe of her compassion.
Such a genuine heart she offered her friend - and what a gift to me, as she shared stories that I imagine she didn't originally intend to discuss. This is a perfect example of an unexpected gift we could receive at any moment.
So I share her powerful words with you in hopes that you will follow the paths of both people in the story. The first is to give. The second is to allow yourself to receive love from others as well.
Many people are very challenged to engage in such interactions for a large variety of reasons. Maybe this speaks to your heart today.
Although my own family has had great losses and continues with challenges, I was brought up in a home with such love and kindness. My heart knows no other way to live than to offer to others.
Yet your path may have been extremely different. And I honor you for trying to open your heart to others, while fears and unresolved expectations from the past may haunt you.
We can however, in the very least, offer kindness to ourselves first. I forget this sometimes too.
Kindness to our "self" may begin with self-forgiveness. Can you relate? In truth, can't we beat ourselves up faster and more relentlessly - than anyone else we actually shield our hearts and thoughts from?
I believe there is a small child that resides in all of us. He or she may be hurting and finding need for comfort.
Can you resolve to help heal this child's wounds? And tell him or her the truth as you know it today, versus old beliefs that are wrong? That inner "part" of you is so very deserving, and we often look for some other person (maybe without consciously knowing), to help us heal, feel lovable - and loved.
I also have come to a point in my life, where I compassionately look at people who seem mean-spirited as porcupines that are too busy bristling because of their own pains or preoccupations. It seems to soften the pointiness of their quills.
So how can we offer them, and others, something they may truly need in the moment? I think you may know a number of ways already. The question posed is "are you doing them?" And are you offering "self-care" to yourself in these situations?
I feel that being compassionate is quite different than being "too sensitive."
Yet others often can tell us we're too sensitive, and make us question the humanity of our offerings. Remember there is quite a difference. I hope you will choose compassion.
I also think that many of us feel that if we need the help of others, it somehow may be - or show - signs of personal weakness. I beg to differ. There are resources all around you that offer invitations to assist, in ways that are unknown to your thought process today. Seek them out and utilize their gifts with appreciation - not self-bullying.
May we remember that when we take the time to truly listen to another, we offer them compassion and validation. May we treat ourselves with the same love that we may freely invite others to feel. May someone say to you, "Come and let me love you." And may you hear yourself say those very words to another.
Thank you, Ginny - from all of us.
Langley is the author of the newly released book, "Life Changes..." Her column is published the first Sunday of each month in the Lifestyle section.